Not all who wander are lost…

Not all who wander are lost...

We may have felt lost wandering down some Texas back-roads, but the moment we drove up to the Junk Gypsy World Headquarters we knew we were home. Located in Round Top, TX it’s the junkin’ home of Amie and Jolie Sikes, sisters from a “free-spirited family with an addiction to flea markets.”

When my daughter, my two nieces and I took off on an 8 day road-trip to Disney World over Spring Break we knew one of our many stops would have to be antique-row (AKA, Round Top, TX). We’ve loved everything about the sisters and their show “Junk Gypsies” since we first saw it appear on HGTV a few years back, and it’s been on our “Must See” list ever since.

The show and the family speak to our vintage hearts as we seem to all share a kindred spirit when it comes to junk! I love their whimsical outlook on life, their flare for country chic’ design and their willingness to just get in there and create as they use their imagination to turn trash into funky treasures. It’s exactly what my daughter and I set out to do every chance we get.

We loved our trip through Round Top, but we definitely didn’t spend long enough. Not having a trailer or room in our vehicle we refrained from too much antiquing this time around. We look forward to a return trip to attend the “Junk-o-Rama” prom one day and hitting this winding road of goodness during “Antiques Week”.

To be honest the picture above was a fluke. We were told the Wander Inn was located on the back of the property, but that it wouldn’t be opened for at least 3 more months. As we were leaving we took pics of all the little houses on the property (as we’ve seen them all made-over all their TV show), and continued to follow the winding road. In front of the houses there was a fence with a sign that read, “No Trespassing.” So, we abided and continued down the path to the Inn, the whole time I kept asking my posse, if they’d seen a sign that said, “Closed, Do Not Enter, STOP, etc.” They kept replying, “No.” So, we drove on, got out took a few pics and returned to our vehicle. As we were leaving, I saw a sign that said, “Employees Only.” Oops, the sign was small and white and looked like the letters had all about been washed away from the rain. Had I not been right beside it, I wouldn’t have seen it. So, I guess we got lucky. Sorry gypsy sisters, no disrespect intended. We promise! Beautiful place, can’t wait till it’s officially open and we can see the inside for now I’ll just replay the remodel on my DVR, lol.

Royers Restaurant

Fabulous Alert: We didn’t leave town without stopping for a mouth-watering masterpiece at Royers Cafe. Where they have world famous pie! It’s also, a place you must stop if you venture down that way

Bud the Pie Man


360 degrees of fun…

360 degrees of fun...

With my daughter fresh out of college and starting her new career as an elementary school teacher or is it educator? I don’t know, either way, you had to know it was only a matter of time before we tackled a bookshelf project. Right?! And, that we did!

360 degrees of fun...

This weekend while shopping at our local Habitat for Humanity we picked up an old wooden electric spool for $10. It was a smaller spool and perfect for our bookshelf project. (Side note: Never miss an opportunity to grab an old wooden spool. No matter the size, these things can be used to make coffee tables, end tables, any tables really, wall art, clocks, just about anything.) We paid for this one in order to have ours immediately and the money goes to a good cause at HFH, but as I’ve mentioned before, you can often get spools for free at electric companies, hardware stores, etc. Lowe’s in fact has them for free, but you sometimes have to put your name on a list and wait for your turn and availability. Still worth it!

360 degrees of fun...

Now, back to the project… We started by removing any loose staples and sanding down rough edges. We sanded a little more than normal sense this was going to be used by children and we wanted to avoid splinter issues. For this we used an electric palm sander.

The most difficult part of this project was adding a shelf. It wasn’t necessary, but we felt it was too large without one and would leave too much wasted space if we didn’t opt for the shelf. You may not find this necessary if you have a smaller spool or larger books!

To add the shelf, we set the spool on top of some scrap 1/2 inch plywood, traced a circle around the outer edge and then used a jigsaw to cut it out. For the inner circle, we took the largest distance from the center to the outer edge of the spool (nothing is ever even on these things) and using a marker held at that distance on the tape measure and the other end hooked to the outer edge of the spool as a guide drew our circle, which was also cut out by the jigsaw. The shelf board was later cut in half to avoid taking the spool apart to attach.

360 degrees of fun...360 degrees of fun...

Next, we took a rope and ran it around the outer edge of the spool and then measured the length of the rope to determine the circumference of the spool, we subtracted 2″ and divided by 10; the number of dividers we wanted. (We bought 5 dowel rods for $2.28 each at Lowe’s and cut them in half.) OUR number came out to 11.25″. So, every 11.25″ we marked a spot 2″ from the edge of the spool, yours will be different (A tape measure works great for this, as it’s flexible enough to curve around the edge.) Then we drilled 5/8″ holes at every mark, the size of the dowel rods we were using. We started with the shelf first, because we later used the shelf piece as a template to mark the holes on the top and the bottom of the spool. (Note: The bottom holes were only drilled halfway down, just enough to hold the rods in place.)

360 degrees of fun...

After all the holes were drilled, we made sure all the dowels fit. Then we removed the rods to attach the shelf. To attach the shelf we used 6X10″ L-brackets (We found these at Walmart for .84 cents each.)These will add extra support for your books later. Be careful to keep your holes aligned when attaching the shelf. We then ran the dowels through the top and the middle shelf, and anchored them into the bottom holes, all the way around. We applied wood glue, to the top, middle and bottom of the dowels. We also applied a wood glue and saw dust mixture (You could also use wood filler.) to the areas where the shelf was cut and put back together, to keep these areas as seamless as possible.

360 degrees of fun...

After the glue dried, we used the palm sander again to smooth down the entire surface. At this point we added four 4″ heavy duty casters (Purchased from O’Reilly’s). Weight-wise each caster could probably hold 250 lbs., this size was not needed for weight, we wanted the larger chunky wheels purely for looks.

When the bookshelf was complete we painted it with white chalk paint (See our recipe for homemade chalk paint here!) After the paint dried we used the palm sander once more to heavily distress the piece, used a damp cloth to wipe off all the dust and sealed with a clear varnish.

The casters were the most expensive part of this project. They can range anywhere from $5-15 each depending on size and where you get them (Lowe’s, Walmart, online, etc.). So, if you have an old unused shelf or tool box sitting around with wheels I would suggest you reuse them and save the $. Casters are another thing you should always grab at auctions or garage sales if you see them!

Now go make yourself a cute little 360 degree bookshelf for your class, your child’s room or heck this would even be fun to have in your living room as an end table or coffee table. The possibilities are endless.

Happy repurposing people!